TAMWORTH skies will be abuzz this weekend thanks to aerobatics pilot Tony Blair.
The former Tamworth resident, now a wing commander based at RAAF Base Amberley, will put on two aerobatics displays.
As part of the festival he will escort the parachutists at the start of each flying display and then perform a six-minute-long, modern, unlimited freestyle aerobatic display.
“It will include a bit of variety with the normal loops, but also the modern stuff like snap rolls, spins and tumbles,” he said.
Mr Blair said he enjoyed the challenge of aerobatics flying.
“It’s very dynamic, so it’s fun, but it’s also quite physical flying, so I enjoy that side of it too,” he said.
“The low-level part is also exhilarating.”
The experienced pilot said, although it looked like he just jumped into the plane and did his display, it was “all very rehearsed”.
“Everything I do has been done hundreds and hundreds of times,” he said.
“I’ve been practising all week.”
Mr Blair said he also had to ensure he was hydrated, otherwise he can be affected by the g-forces.
“I also always want to be reasonably rested and in good physical shape and be organised so there are no mental distractions,” he said.
“I don’t want to be rushing things because I always have to consider factors such as weather and obstacles at the venue. If you were flying at higher levels, there would be less obstacles to consider, but if you’re going to be flying low, you need to consider all those things.”
Mr Blair said he would be flying as low as 10-20 feet at times.
He said the festival offered a good program.
“The organisers have done well for their first air show,” he said. “There will be several warbirds, aerobatic displays and good formation stuff as well. What I’d like to see is it well-supported by the community.”
Mr Blair said many hours, weeks and months of preparation and much expense went into holding an air show like this, so the community should support it, so organisers could make it even bigger and better in the future.